House overwhelmingly passes Rebuild Alabama Act
You can view the roll call vote here.
SB 2 will head to the House for a possible first reading in that chamber Monday. Slight differences between HB 1 and SB 2 will need to be reconciled before one of them heads to the governor’s desk for signature. Discussions are ongoing on whether the Senate will take up HB 1 or if the House will take up SB 2. This is the legislation that overhauls the Joint Transportation Committee, increasing oversight, accountability and transparency.
You can find a live-tweet thread of Friday’s House proceedings here.
Senate leaders comment on SB 2 passing
“Governor Ivey has put forward her Rebuild Alabama plan to modernize our state’s infrastructure system – I support Governor Ivey’s proposal, but the Legislature is determined to increase oversight and accountability for ALDOT,” Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), the sponsor of SB 2, said in a statement. “Each member of the Senate represents nearly 150,000 Alabamians, and we are going to make sure that ALDOT is open and transparent with the Legislature and the public about where each taxpayer dollar is going.”
Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) released the following statement:
Ultimately we must answer to the taxpayers on how their money is spent. Since I have served as Pro Tem of the Senate it has always been a top goal to make sure that state government is open, accountable and efficient. I believe this bill accomplishes that goal.
If we are going to ask taxpayers to send more money to Montgomery, we owe it to them to ensure that their money is spent wisely and used appropriately. This bill guarantees that money marked for infrastructure, will be used for infrastructure and that the Legislature will have full oversight on how the Department of Transportation uses that money.
As a fiscal conservative, it would be impossible to support any type of revenue measure in the infrastructure package without the oversight and accountability laid out in this bill.
I want to thank Senator Chambliss for all of his hard work on this piece of legislation. I want to thank the Senate body for their support of this bill. We had an excellent discussion on the floor and came away with a piece of Legislation that received overwhelming support. I look forward to working with members of the House as this bill continues to move through the legislative process.
There was broad, bi-partisan support for SB 2 in the Senate.
“I support the Joint Transportation Committee bill that will give oversight to all of the road projects,” Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) stated. “I applaud Senator Chambliss for bringing this proposal; and, hopefully, we can get it passed into law so that it will give the Legislature a lot more hands-on access to develop plans for where the money is being spent.”
This is a breaking story and may be updated.
Update 5:10 p.m.:
The Senate gave HB 1, HB 2 and HB 3 their first reading Friday. This means the bills are in line for a public hearing, committee vote and second reading Monday, with a possible third reading and final vote before the full Senate to come Tuesday.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn